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Toilet Ek Prem katha Review

I watched this movie on Sunday but reviewing it on Tuesday. Two days I took to digest it ( wrong word to use in this context), but it made me to probe deeper and understand the problem that was very nicely portrayed in the movie. Based on the real life story of Anita bai Narre and Shivaram Narre from a small village called Jeetudhana in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh, this story of the film was weaved in Uttar Pradesh between Jaya and Keshav played by Bhumi and Akshay Kumar.

Cinematic liberty demanded a lot of changes in the narration but the basic story was kept intact. Jaya gets married to Keshav, a middle aged manglik after a lot of wooing from his end. That makes the most of the first half very entertaining and light hearted. Things take an ugly turn when Jaya realises that their house doesn’t have a toilet. She demands for a toilet and husband does jugaad. But that doesn’t work and she leaves his house and that’s the interval. The entire second half is on how Keshav with the help of his younger brother Naru moves heaven and earth to construct a “Toilet”.

Very rarely, an issue like toilet which is a small break for anyone is such a big issue. But remember if that small break is not there, we won’t live to see the next day. From centuries when these toilets were not there, people defecate and urinate in open. That was considered to be a common practice. That common practice turned into a culture and then was considered as a part of hygiene. When there were no antibiotics and when communicable diseases used to take away millions of lives, defecation away from the home was considered to be a hygienic thing that kept people away from these diseases. It slowly grew into a cultural thing with religious overtures to it. It got deep rooted from generations into the psyche of people in the rural areas.

Cut to 21st century!

Cut to 21st century, when you have a 2 wheeler, TV, mobile phone at home, but not a toilet! Sounds odd, but its because something which is considered to be unhygienic for generations, you can’t bring it to home overnight! That is the big problem that the film tried to address, using humour as that is the best way to reach and make people to think! These are the days when you have attached western toilets in your homes in urban India, but a common man from a rural India frets at the idea of have a toilet anywhere near his home!

Statistics:

According to NSSO statistics of 2015 nearly 52% of India still goes in “open”. That means, nearly 50 Crore people every morning take “lotaas” and go out. If we compare that with our neighbours just 23% defecate in open in Pakistan and 4% in Bangladesh. Even African countries which are considered backward and poor only 25% of people defecate in open. Swachh bharath has a mission on his its head that by 2nd October 2019, which is the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, India should be free of open defecation.

Final Verdict:

Toilet construction is happening on a brisk pace in last few years with 49.76 lakh toilets built in 2013, 58.54 lakh in 2014, 127.41 lakh in 2015 and 112.01 lakh toilets in 2016. That still leaves nearly 40% of rural areas without toilets. Govt. has allocated 9,000 Crores in 2016-17 year for the construction of the toilets. Another major factor is the sanitation and water supply. Many toilets were constructed but doesn’t have adequate water supply leading to them being abandoned. Nearly 1.39 Crore toilets face this problem of water supply

Toilet ek prem katha is rocking and its well on its way to become the highest ever grosser of Akshay Kumar. It could be the 1st genuine Hindi blockbuster of 2017, the other being Baahubali 2, a telugu film. The film will easily go past 125 Crore and it was made at a budget of 70 Crore. People loved the concept and treatment. They are coming out of theatres laughing and at the same time thinking. Now, this thinking should turn into actions. It is on us to educate the rural masses to develop the habit of using toilets.

We all have our roots in villages. Why not go there and construct a toilet each? Why not educate them and empower them with a evolved thought process which will help them overcome this cultural barrier? Its not like you are donating money to a cause and forgetting about it. Go to your village, educate the people on the usage of toilets and help build a toilet for a household. It’s not just Govt, but all of us have to do our bit to realise the dream of a “open defecation free India” by 2nd October 2019. We just have over 2 years to do it. On this Independence day, lets take this vow of making our India “Clean”. Jai Hind!!!!!